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Your part is to pray to him, to hear his word, and to listen with attention when
hear it preached. I trust you will find your light increase, and difficulties abate: I wish you to be as cheerful and easy as possible. Cheerfulness is no sin, nor is there any grace in a solemn cast of countenance. On the other hand, I would not have you light or giddy with levity; it will hurt your own spirit, and hinder you from the pursuit of what in
serious moments you most desire. I know your natural spirits are changeable; sometimes they are highly volatile: I would have you correct them by thinking you are a sinner. Sometimes you are grave enough; but if
you 'feel uneasy, then try to think what, a Saviour you read of. Be sure you do not indulge a hard thought of him, as though he were severe, and stern, and ready to take ad. vantage of you. Form your ideas of him from the accounts the evangelists give you, that he was meek and lowly when upon earth, full of compassion and gentleness, ready to pity, to heal, to help, and to teach all who come to him; and they will tell you that he had in particular a great love for children. He tells
you so himself. You read how he took them in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.
When you think of this, shake off gloomy thoughts, speak to him in your heart, and say, Lord bless me too,
One of the best methods of keeping free from uneasy, troublesome thoughts, at least of lessening them, is to be always employed ; strive and pray against indolence, look upon it as a hurtful, yea, a sinful thing. Read in English and French, write and work. Your mamma and I will be both willing you should diversify these employments as may be most agreeable to your own inclination; but we wish not to see you idle. Now is the time of life for you to acquire useful knowledge, that you may make yourself agreeable, and that you may be useful and qualified to fill up
that station in the world which the Lord may allot you. I will gladly assist you as much as I can', in what falls under my department; but you know I have but little time. God has given you a good capacity, and therefore the less assistance will be necessary, if you are not wanting to yourself. You may depend on our doing what we can to make you happy.. If we seem to cross your wishes sometimes, or not to comply with your desire, you may be sure we have some reason for it. You shall
out with us, as often as we think it will be proper and right; and we shall not leave you at home for our own pleasure, but because it would not be good for you to be very much abroad. We expect and hope you will be ruled by a hint or a word; and then you will find us studious in contriving how to make every thing as agreeable as possible to you. Because you desired a letter soon, I have written thus much, although I had other things to do, and it is preaching morning. I shall hope for a letter from you very much! The Lord
I am, my dear child,
Your affectionate father.
October 17, 1784.
My dear Child,
you the first letter ; in future you must not expect me to write but in answer to your's. We wish to hear soon that you are well, and that
you like your situation. I do not wish you to like any place so well as home: upon one account you ought not ; for it is impossible any persons should ever love you so well as your mamma and I do; and therefore you are bound to love us dearly, and that will make you love home; and the more you love home, the more diligent you will be in the improvement of your time at school. For your return to us must in a great measure depend upon yourself; it is no pleasure to us to send you abroad. I thought for a day or two the house looked awkward without you, and I miss you a little every day still; but we are forced to part with you for your own good. I cannot bear the thoughts of your growing up like a tall weed ; I want you to appear like a pretty flower; and it is observable that the best of flowers in a garden would in time degenerate into tawdry weeds if they were not cultivated; such is the importance of education to children. The Lord has been good to you; he has given you good understanding and natural abilities--and much that is engaging in your disposition. It would be a great pity that, with all these advantages, you should prove only a weed. To prevent it, I was obliged to transplant you from London to Hwhere I hope you will thrive and flourish, in creasing in wisdom and favour as you increase in stature.
I have written you many letters in a religious strain, which I hope you have preserved, and will now and then read them over, the more wil. lingly perhaps because your papa wrote them. I would not overdo you upon this subject; though the truth is, this is my chief desire for you, that you may know the Lord and love him; if not, though you were accomplished and admired beyond any of your age, and though you could live in all the splendour of a queen, I should weep over you; I should lament your birth, and the day when you first came under my care.
But I know that I can1